February 9th: spring is evidently here.




I guess this means gardening is in my future….


closeup of dew on swordfern closeup of dew on swordfern light behind bracken

Took quite a few pictures on today’s dogwalk; had fun with ferns.

Bird’s nest fungus

close up of birds nest fungus

The wee, wee eggs!

Actually, they’re fruiting bodies. It’s from the Nidulariaceae family, if you’re into the Latin. Wikipedia says, The nests are “splash-cups”. When a raindrop hits one at the right angle, the walls are shaped such that the eggs are expelled to about 1 m away from the cup in some species. 

This is growing on our back gate. I’m not sure it’s a good sign for the overall health of our gate.

Happy New Year!

To celebrate, pictures of frost flowers from the last hike of 2015: proof that beauty can expand from the most ordinary beginnings.

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

frost flowers on wood

Frosty needles

And a few other things.

closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 1

The dew on the needles had frozen overnight and was just starting to melt, so if I bumped into a tree I got showered in tiny ice pellets.

closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 2closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 3

There were also pretty stumps…

stump with plants and lichen

And broken trees…

split tree trunk

This broken tree trunk was so interesting I took a black and white picture too.

split tree trunk in black and white

An altogether satisfactory morning walk.

The bark mulch

…seems to have turned into a compost heap. Well, it is almost two years old. But really, I got quite a shock when I walked by and saw what it was growing.

mushrooms on bark mulch

These are really odd mushrooms: they don’t seem to have a top over their gills.

mushrooms on bark mulch

I think it must have rotted away as they aged, but I’m not sure.

mushrooms on bark mulch

At any rate, they’re roughly 2 inches in diameter, and there’s LOTS of them.

mushrooms on bark mulch

Still pretty, though they’re certainly past their “best by” date.

mushrooms on bark mulch

This appears to be what they look like before they unfurl.

mushrooms on bark mulch

And maybe this as well?

mushrooms on bark mulch

But these are definitely not related. It’s a convivial mulch pile, evidently.

mushrooms on bark mulch

From the world pool: June 12, 2015

Socio-political commentary

Henry A. Giroux | Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance (via @ChrisBoese)

A grandmother’s 36-year hunt for the child stolen by the Argentinian junta (via @ChrisBoese)

Which brings me to this recording by Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert.

(And let’s not forget… women are missing in Canada.) http://www.missingwomeninquiry.ca/

And of course I was reminded of this because Ronnie Gilbert died this week.

Bonus tracks: Joe Hill and Solidarity Forever.

The ACLU unveiled a new mobile app designed to help you record and report abusive cops.

I somehow stumbled onto this music video this week. It’s… so true. Ladytron: Seventeen. (Interesting to pair it with Janis Ian’s At Seventeen.)

How a No-Tipping Policy Helped This Restaurant Triple Profits in 2 Months (via @KameronHurley)

SMDH moment: famous scientist demonstrates not just sexism but general idiocy.  But never fear, women scientists have responded.

In the news

Good news for once. Conservation groups welcome protection for Strait of Georgia’s unique glass sponge reefs.  (via Sheila Malcolmson)

Creative activism: People in Portland are protesting potholes by planting flowers in them. (via @brainpicker)

Art + Design

Errol Morris: How Typography Shapes Our Perception Of Truth (via @eilatan)

Hermann Zapf dies at 96

Medieval bookbinding PDF (via @evilrooster)

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home just won 5 Tony awards, including Best Musical. Also: FUN HOME’s Journey to Broadway

Marko Korosec’s weather photos are amazing, especially some from this set: “I love extreme weather and seen a lot, but this was just above my imagination what I experienced earlier this week. A crazy amount of hard rime after more than a week of strong Bora winds and freezing fog atop of mt. Javornik, Slovenia. It was 100-150cm deep at some most exposed placed.”


Cornell’s website can ID bird species through photos (via @curiousoctopus)

On Writing

Maggie Stiefvater: A novel is a lovely but forbidding natural monument, like an iceberg

Quote of the week

By the way, “full-diaper-angry” is Open For Business as slang for young men who are full of shit and mad at women for not being their mom

Drew (via @KameronHurley)

Just cool

13th copy of 4th/5thC copy of 1st AD Roman world map now explorable online, with layers  (via @mchris4duke)

Just for fun

Here’s how women find time to look appealing to men during the apocalypse

So I pretended to throw a ball and caught the exact moment my dog realised I had betrayed him

If I ever get stuck in an airport for six hours I would really like it to be one with the casts of two Broadway musicals.  (via @mcahogarth)

You’ll only relate if you have cats

Golden retrievers. What can I say?

Crocus crop

crocuses lying on ground

They’ve been busily popping up everywhere…. and I’m finally getting round to posting some pictures of them.

purple crocus

purple crocuses 2

purple crocuses 3

purple crocuses 1

Last week

snowdrops at base of willow tree

Last week, we had snowdrops


and daffodils

crocus among snowdrops

and crocuses

cherry blossoms

and cherry blossoms.

crocus in snowdrops

Last week the crocuses were just starting. This week we have LOTS of crocuses. I’ll post more pictures tomorrow.



Spring is here, kinda

new weeds

At least, the weeds wild plants are certainly growing all pretty and thick and fresh-like. I believe this is mostly dovesfoot geranium. The back 40 will be pretty later on.

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